Much has been made of the fact that Disney and director Andrew Stanton decided to change the title of John Carter of Mars to simply John Carter. Here was my assessment at the time:
The title John Carter means nothing. It could be anything from a courtroom drama to romantic comedy to porn film. It has zero style or substance and I hope Disney realizes that John Carter Of Mars at least lets the audience know what they are in for: an epic sci-fi fantasy movie.
One of the film’s stars, Mark Strong, disagrees. He’s out stomping for another big, sci-fi epic (Green Lantern) and told Movies.com why he loves the new title.
Thanks to Movies.com for the below quote. It comes as part of a much more extensive interview coming soon from the site in which Strong talks more about Sinestro, Green Lantern and more. Here’s his quote on John Carter‘s title change though. Also – this could probably be considered spoilerish by some people:
Interestingly, John Carter’s had its titled changed. And there seems to be some kind of confusion as to why this should be, and I think the reason is brilliant. The reason is that he has to earn that title. Again, it’s a franchise or a number of books; a series of books that people may or may not know, but if you call him John Carter of Mars, I think at the very beginning, all the work’s been done and what Andrew wants to do, I think, is introduce people to this first film, and by the end of it, he becomes John Carter of Mars, but not at the beginning. In the beginning he’s John Carter, but by the end of the first film, he’s John Carter of Mars; so he’s earned that title to take it off should it want to go to further storytelling.
Okay, I can buy that. But from a marketing standpoint, I still don’t think it’s smart. You’d never call Green Lantern “Hal Jordan” or Batman Begins “Bruce Wayne” just because the characters evolve into their new identities. The title of the film has to have name recognition. If anything, call it John Carter of Mars but don’t reveal the title on screen until the end. That happens sometimes when a character has to “earn” a title.
Head over to Movies.com for the rest of this interview snippet where Strong talks about his John Carter character Matai Shang and Stanton’s transition from animation to live action.